Posts Tagged With: escape

The Cribbing Saga

Although I did jump today (I cantered through a six stride line in a beautiful, collected seven strides!), that’s not what I want to talk about tonight.

I know, I'm perfect.

I know, I’m perfect.

I even got to have a shower in the new wash rack that they finished building at my barn (two weeks before I leave! Go figure… That’s just my luck!) But that’s not what I want to talk to you about, either.

Wow, I feel like a king in here!

Wow, I feel like a king in here!

Tonight, I want to talk to you about a very serious problem that afflicts many of us horses.

Tonight, I want to talk to you about cribbing. Some of you probably already know what that means; for those of you who don’t, I am going to give you as much information as I can. That way, you can get the help you need.

Now, I just want to say, if any of you have this problem – it’s not your fault. And if your humans are willing, you can get help.

Cribbing is an addiction. It doesn’t always start out that way, but once you start, it’s almost impossible to stop. I’m going to explain it to you for purely educational purposes; please do not try this at your own barn.

Cribbing is when you clamp your teeth down on something – usually the wooden fence rail – arch your neck, and suck in air. It releases endorphins, which basically make you feel… really good. Happy, I guess you could say. Endorphins are the same things that make you happy after a really good workout with your human (that, and pride). But exercising is a healthy way to get those endorphins; cribbing is not.

You see, cribbing is very bad for your teeth and your digestive system. It can cause ulcers – painful holes in the lining of your stomach – and it can even cause you to colic. If any of you have ever had colic, you know that it’s not only painful, it’s also potentially deadly. But try eating a crunchy carrot or some grain when your teeth are messed up and falling out from cribbing!

I have a friend… we’ll just call him “Jeremiah.” And this friend of mine… he cribs. He cribs all day, every day. He cribs in the paddock. He even cribs on the divider between his stall and his neighbor’s stall.

I was never allowed to be near him in the paddock because my Mommy didn’t want him teaching me to crib.

So, you may be wondering what we can do about this. What can we do to help our friends who have this problem?

Well, there’s not much we can do, except to make sure their humans know what’s going on. And don’t worry, you won’t be betraying their trust by “telling on them.” You’ll be betraying them as a friend if you don’t tell on them.

Humans sometimes try to buy a special collar, called a “cribbing collar,” to prevent this compulsive behavior. But those collars only stop you from being able to suck in air – they don’t stop you from biting down and going through the motions. So they eliminate the immediate threat of colic, but you can still ruin your teeth… and the paddock fences.

Humans also sometimes buy nasty tasting stuff to put on the fences or the stall, which is supposed to prevent cribbing because it tastes and smells so awful. But an addict is an addict, and they will often learn to like the taste (or at least tolerate it), just so they can crib again.

“Jeremiah’s” Mommy spared no expense to make sure Jeremiah got the help he needed. My Daddy and Mr. Phil worked together to fix the problem. I saw them working on Jeremiah’s paddock.

"Hey, Daddy... what are you guys doing?"

“Hey, Daddy… what are you guys doing?”

When I asked my Daddy what he was doing, he told me that he was putting a “hot wire” around the perimeter. The “hot wire” is a wire that gives an electric shock if you touch it… and they put it around the very top edge of the fence. So, if Jeremiah were to crib, there’s no way he would be able to do it without getting shocked.

I thought it was a pretty good idea, even though I feel bad for Jeremiah if he shocks himself! I’ve been shocked by electric fences before, and it really hurts.

Anyway, tomorrow is the big day: Daddy will turn the “hot wire” on and we’ll see if it stops Jeremiah from cribbing. I’ll let y’all know how it goes!

Until then, please be careful and don’t try cribbing. It’s not worth it! You never know, you could be the kind of horse who gets addicted after only trying it once. Take my word for it; it’s just not worth it.

I’m always here if any of you need to talk. I won’t judge you, even if you have been cribbing.

Alright, friends. I’m going to go hit the shavings now. I’ll catch y’all tomorrow!

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Categories: A Day in the Life of Icchy Star | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

All’s well that ends well

You’re not going to believe what happened today.

Seriously.

It started out just like any other day. Mommy groomed me in the morning and turned me out. I hung out with Leo all day eating grass and enjoying the warm sunshine. I had the day off, but in the late afternoon when it was time to come in, Mommy hopped on me bareback – with only my halter and lead rope – and let me stretch my legs in the arena. We just trotted and cantered a little, and then did a couple lead changes. Of course, I was perfect. And we were just having a little fun, anyway.

Then, as I was in my stall eating my hay before it was time for dinner grain, something happened.

You see, apparently, when Isis was done working earlier today, her little girl put her back into the paddock… but didn’t latch the gate properly. No one noticed, because it was closed; it just wasn’t latched. 

Well, no one except Jube Jube noticed. As Uncle Mike went walking down the pathway toward the big field in the back to go and bring Leo in, Jube Jube waited for the opportune moment – when Uncle Mike had passed their paddock and had his back facing them – and then, Jubey made a run for it! He nudged the gate open with his nose and took off. Jelly Bean followed, and then Isis came out as well.

ESCAPED! They've ESCAPED!

ESCAPED! They’ve ESCAPED!

I couldn’t believe my eyes!! I lunged forward and almost broke through my stall guard. I needed to go join them! Then, as Mommy and Daddy ran in opposite directions to wrangle those three up, I heard Mommy yell to Daddy, “CLOSE ICCHY’S STALL DOOR!” He came running over to do just that… And if he hadn’t, I probably would have broken out of my stall. Mommy grabbed Isis rather easily (because Isis just ate grass and waited for her to come over) and then Mommy ran her over to her stall as Jube Jube and Jelly Bean continued their gallop around the property. As Mommy put Isis away, the minis ran toward the barn from the other direction. We all thought they were heading for their stall, but then Jube Jube turned toward the road that leads up to the driveway… and they were off!

Mommy yelled to Daddy, “GO GET THE QUAD!” and then she ran as fast as she could up the hill to the driveway, carrying my halter and lead rope!

Mommy and Daddy hopped on the quad and raced down the driveway and into the street, where Jelly Bean was following Jube Jube at a flat out gallop! Jube Jube was in the lead, obviously – he’s the troublemaker – but Jelly was keeping up quite well. In fact, none of us have ever seen her run so fast. Jube Jube was not stopping.

Mommy and Daddy caught up to the minis to head them off with the quad, and as they did so, the minis turned and ran into the yard of a neighbor. The neighbor came out to see Mommy and Daddy on the quad in their driveway – with Jubey and Jelly running around in his backyard (which wasn’t fenced in) – and he said to them, “I don’t want those horses on my lawn! Get them off the grass!” Mommy gave the man a funny look and said that the minis had escaped, and that they were trying to catch them. The man’s reply was, “Oh… I just thought you guys were taking them out for a run.”

(Yeah, we often take a mini pony and a mini donkey out for a little gallop through the neighborhood. You know, like dogs.)

Anyway, Daddy drove the quad down to where the minis were, but before he could even get near them, they turned and galloped back up the man’s driveway and onto the road again. Luckily, that time Daddy was able to head them off in the direction toward home. I saw Auntie Paulette come running out of the house and jump into her truck. She sped down the driveway just in time to see the two minis – and two humans on a quad – come speeding toward her. Thinking quickly, she used her truck to block off the little private road (where Mommy and I like to walk sometimes), and then she jumped out and helped to “shoo” Jelly and Jubey back toward home. They were still galloping though, and there wasn’t a chance that anyone was going to get near enough to catch them. Daddy and Mommy were able to head them back down the hill toward the barn by blocking their pathway with the quad when they tried to turn back toward the street again. They ran down to the barn, where Uncle Mike was standing with carrots, just in case, and Mommy and Daddy both hopped off the quad and shooed them into their stall.

Mommy told Isis’s little rider what happened – that she had accidentally left the gate open, which gave them an opportunity to escape – and told her that she needed to walk Jelly Bean and Jube Jube to cool them down. Sure enough, those minis were breathing hard and heavy! But they were very proud of themselves.

Well, at least Jube Jube was. Jelly Bean looked a little ashamed of herself.

Anyway, they were both fine – no cuts or scrapes, and they walked until they were cool and calm. But boy, did they have the rest of us all in a panic! I’m sure glad Mommy and Daddy were able to get them back to the barn before they made it all the way to that big road down there at the end of our street. People drive really fast on that road, and it could have been a disaster!

But, in the words of a very famous human poet – all’s well that ends well.

And with that, friends, I’m going to bed. Catch y’all tomorrow!

Before any of the excitement happened...

Before any of the excitement happened…

Categories: A Day in the Life of Icchy Star | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Another eventful day…

You guys are not going to believe everything that happened today! It was a great day, but it was also long and exhausting. I don’t even think I can stay awake long enough to tell you all about it. For the moment, I’ll tell you this much: it involves riding bareback with my Daddy, lots of rain, and Leo escaping from the paddock. It was an absolute riot! You’re going to whinny and snort when you hear the details.

But right now, I need to go curl myself up on my soft bed of shavings and snooze. Catch y’all in the morning… and be ready to hear all about today’s amazing adventures!

Leo and I were watching as Isis went nuts!

Categories: A Day in the Life of Icchy Star | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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